Story by Riata Cummings Grayce Baxter is a rodeo athlete and senior at Lehi High School. She enjoys “all things medical” and is currently taking […]
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Meet the Member Derek Huggins
story by Riata Cummings
Hailing from Garland, Utah, Derek Huggins is the son of Jeremy Huggins, Kirk and Suzie Buttars. He has an 8-year-old brother Hayden who likes to spend time in the roping arena with Derek. Derek is a 17-year-old senior at Bear River High School, and his favorite classes are agricultural mechanics and welding. He enjoys the hands-on work and plans to attend Bridgerland Technical College to obtain his welding degree. Derek likes anything involving a lot of passion, including hunting, fishing, basketball and golf.
After going to the family ranch and seeing everyone roping, Derek knew he wanted to give it a shot. Before too long, he entered his first rodeo roping with his cousin. He still competes in the team roping and loves being able to control things as a header. Rodeo is still a family affair, and Derek won his first buckle roping with his cousin. He has also won saddles with his grandfather and step dad. Rodeo had taught him the value of hard work and them importance of surrounding yourself with family and friends.
His favorite rodeo so far has been the Utah High School State Finals. The week-long event is full of adrenaline and fun, and there are plenty of jackpots and goat ropings to fill any down time. Derek loves the rodeo atmosphere and getting to know other rodeo competitors. Derek competes on a horse named Hawk, and the two make a good team. Recently, however, Hawk has been too sore to compete. He is receiving injections and resting, but it has been hard for Derek to adjust to his temporary replacement. This year, Derek hopes to finish in the top four and qualify for nationals.
Derek is determined and doesn’t believe in giving up. Through the hard runs and bad days, he knows to keep striving and believing. He has a will to win that carries him through hours of hard practice and a competitive spirit that drives him to be better. Despite all that, Derek is a fun-loving and caring guy who seeks to share his joy and success with the friends and family that have helped him along the way. He lives by the words, “Don’t ever give up”, and knows that trials only make us better. He would tell rodeo rookies to work hard because where there is a will, there is a way.
Derek is grateful for all the wonderful people in his life, especially those who have helped him become the person he is today. He looks up to them for their abilities and willingness to help. Derek Huggins knows that behind every cowboy is a village of people who took the time to teach and share.